Drivers fined up to £5,000 for beeping their horn while behind the wheel
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Experts at USwitch said drives may want to “keep the noise down” and avoid using their horn in a moment of road rage or to catch the attention of friends or neighbours. Although often harmless, excessive beeping in one area can lead to problems with local councils often able to get involved under some circumstances.
According to the Highway Code, road users can only use their horns to warn other drivers of their current road position.
The horn may be needed to warn other drives, to stop them from pulling in, and to avoid an accident. It should not be used if drivers lose their cool behind the wheel.
The Code said: “Use only while your vehicle is moving and you need to warn other road users of your presence. Never sound your horn aggressively.
“You MUST NOT use your horn while stationary on the road, when driving in a built-up area between the hours of 11.30 pm and 7.00 am except when another road user poses a danger.
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Drivers who break the rules are likely to be issued a Fixed Penalty Notice or an on-the-spot fine of £30.
Charges can increase to £1,000 if road users fail to pay the fee once it is issued.
However, experts at USwitch warn excessive beeping in residential areas can be considered noise pollution.
Local councils can act on this and issue excessive fines to road users if compliance has not been met.
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Firstly, the council will send a letter to the offender warning them of the problem.
If the beeping continues the council can issue an Absentee Notice which acts as a final warning.
If this is also ignored, drivers can be issued a maximum fine of £5,000 on domestic premises.
If the noise is being made on a commercial address, road users could be issued up to a £20,000 penalty.
USwitch has warned simply beeping outside someone’s house when you arrive can also be considered a breach of the guidelines.
A spokesperson also confirmed sounding a horn during the night could also cause problems for road users.
They said: “Beeping outside someone’s house to let them know you’ve arrived is also a no-no.
“It’s illegal to sound your horn when you are stationary on the road, and when driving in a built-up area between the hours of 11.30 pm and 7.00 am.
“The only exception to the rule is if another road user poses a danger.”
Ask The Police have confirmed a horn should only be used when warning someone of danger on the road.
They urged drivers should not simply use the horn when they were annoyed at someone’s level of driving.
Police chiefs also confirmed road users could not use their horn in residential areas at night.
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